Timothy has been a part of UpCloud’s Singapore office for almost two years. As a Technical Support Specialist, he helps our users globally with various technical issues and questions related to our infrastructure.
When you joined UpCloud, did you have any previous experience with cloud computing?
In my previous company, I worked as a support for a data science team. I made sure that all the systems, programming languages, packages, and software they need for their work were up to date. It was more of an engine served computing rather than cloud computing. Ever since I became interested in cloud computing, I realised the enormous potential cloud computing has, not only for software companies but also for the whole world.
What makes UpCloud’s Support stand out from the competitors?
Everyone has their unique ways of communicating, but one of the good things about UpCloud is that we support our users live 24/7 all year long. We also follow the no-tier support, which means that the user only needs to talk to a single person to receive help instead of escalating the issue among different teams.
With different support engineers from diverse backgrounds working in different time zones, how do you ensure that the support level stays the same?
Something very unique about UpCloud is that we have consolidated a huge amount of knowledge. In the Support team, we are always on the same page, no matter who communicates with the user. We read back through different chats and tickets to see what issues the user had in the last few days and what other teams have already done.
How is working with such a diverse team with members located in different continents?
It’s very interesting. Luckily we all speak English. To me, it is essential that the company shares ideas, be it the know-how of how each country or region approaches cloud computing, or more importantly, sharing different cultures within the team.
For example, I often visit our ‘Travel’ channel in Slack because it allows me to see different countries through the eyes of my colleagues. I would never be able to travel to so many countries myself.
What kind of person does it take to be a good Technical Support Specialist?
A good Technical Support Specialist has to first listen to the user and find out all about the issue before providing a solution. After all, we are human-level support rather than a chatbot. Then, you have to communicate well. You need to speak to different backend teams to find the best solution. And lastly, I’d say just be yourself. You can be informal, or you can be formal, but it’s all about trying to make the user happy at the end of the day. If we can’t fix their issue with applications, we can at least point them in the right direction.
What are the most typical requests the user reaches you with?
We often see that some users don’t have a certain level of understanding of cloud computing or servers. Therefore, it’s difficult for them to deploy an application or anything else on our servers. Because we are not a typical software-as-a-service company, it’s not as simple as just opening an installation package. You need a certain level of knowledge. On the other hand, UpCloud gives a lot of freedom to use the servers instead of limiting the user to specific features like some other providers.
Some users need more assistance than others, but we never judge. We try to educate the user on the proper use of cloud computing infrastructure, servers, and products. It is very heartwarming to see when these users successfully deploy an application on our server without the help of other people or having to pay for engineers.
Can you remember an interesting conversation you had with a user?
One of our users had challenges with using our Object Storage. He was using our Object Storage API and couldn’t seem to find how to upload his documents. So I asked him for his API syntax to help him verify that his syntax will work with S3 Cli along with UpCloud API. I realised there was an error in one of the naming conventions and helped the user resolve it so that he was able to use the correct syntax and upload his documents.
If you had to describe UpCloud in three words, what would it be?
Heartwarming, fun, growth. UpCloud gives me a very heartwarming feeling. It feels very family-like. I also have a lot of fun here. We inject fun into our work as well. And growth can mean a lot of things. For me, it’s growing as a person. I get to know different cultures and different people with all their quirks. It helps me to have more empathy for our users as well. And finally, growth in my knowledge of cloud computing.
Where would you like to develop within UpCloud, and how can the company help you with that?
I am very interested in the pre-sales area of UpCloud. My hope when I applied for UpCloud was that I would one day become a Solution Architect, designing the architecture for the users’ applications and helping them create value with our infrastructure. UpCloud has been very paramount to my learning. My colleagues from other teams across the globe are teaching each other every day. The company also supports self-learning, so I am taking a few online courses to develop my skills in the cloud computing and DevOps space.
Besides being a Support Specialist, you also produce amazing pictures and videos from our Singapore office. Where did this hobby come from?
I have had a passion for photography since I was young. I started shooting when I was 15 and have done both photography and videography since then. It has been a great experience doing this for UpCloud, and I will continue to produce fun content and videos in the future.
What do you consider your most significant personal achievement?
I wasn’t able to study well at school. I went through technical education, which is the lowest level here. It’s not really a path that most people would take. So to be where I am now, I realised that it takes more than just education. It is also learning from experience. I agree with the quote that the greatest mistakes we will ever make are the ones we never learn anything from. So, in the end, I think I managed pretty well.
Would you like to work with Timothy? See our open positions.
This is a very interesting conversational post. Worth a read. Wish you all the best Timothy for your endeavors. :)